Learn how to do a eCommerce marketing plan. Learn everything you need to do.
You cannot expect to do effective marketing without a plan. Planning will help you set the right direction for your ecommerce website as well as implement the particular steps needed to drive traffic to it. And not only that, it can also help you craft and implement an effective strategy in marketing your business.
Today, you’ll learn about how to create a marketing plan for your ecommerce website. This comprises of 9 simple steps.
1 – Define Your Goals
A plan without a goal is useless. It is like throwing all of your arrows in the air wondering if it will hit the target.
So first, define the target. This will prevent you from shooting arrows at anything that comes your way.
What type of target? Define the type of customer that you like to attract. Think personas. If you will describe the perfect customer, how would you describe him or her? What are his or her interests or hobbies? How about his or her likes and dislikes? By describing your customer, you’ll not only have a clear picture of who he or she is. You can also tailor your products and services according to their needs.
Now that you know your target market, you also need to define your main objectives and goals. In this part, it is important to be very specific.
Don’t just say that you want to drive more traffic to your site. Think about how many unique views you like to have? 1,000? 2,000? You should be very specific about the numbers.
More than traffic, you should also define how many sales you like to make in a particular time frame. For example, you may want to sell 100 products each week or 1000 products each month. The goal can be an estimate but it must be a specific number.
Why should you do this? This is done for evaluation purposes. Only in knowing the number can you determine if your marketing process is truly effective. In essence, this will act as a baseline for your success. When you meet this goal, you can say that your marketing is truly effective.
2 – Assess Your Situation
But how can you fully assess if your marketing process is effective? First, you need to define where you are.
You cannot just skip to the directions to reach your destination without knowing where you are. That would be confusing. Instead, you should first assess yourself to define where you are at so that you can also determine if you are ready to reach your destination.
For this, there are multiple tools that you can use. But I will only discuss a couple of them.
One tool is the SWOT Analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You may be quite familiar with this if you have a background in marketing.
Strengths and weaknesses pertains the positive and negative internal factors in your ecommerce business. This can pertain to your process and skills.
Meanwhile, opportunities and threats pertain to the positive and negative external factors. This can pertain to things that are outside your control.
Conducting a SWOT analysis can help you quickly see what you’re lacking. From here, you can choose some marketing methods later to fill this gap.
Another tool is Porter’s Five Forces. This pertains to the outside elements that governs your business. This includes the following: the competitors, buyers and suppliers.
Porter’s Five Forces assumes that every business is affected by five elements. These are buyer power (or the buyer power to drive prices down), supplier power (or the power of the supplier to drive prices up), threat of market entrants (how easily can new businesses enter the industry), threat of substitution (how easily can customers substitute your business) and competitive rivalry (how competitive the industry is).
You can use this tool to see where you are. This will help you determine if you have enough of a competitive advantage in your industry for your ecommerce business to continue on thriving.
3 – Examine Your Target Market
Once you have assessed where you are, it is time to assess your target market. Why do you need to do this? Well, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. It will not run without them. With this, you should do your best in finding where your customers ‘hang out’ so that you can have greater brand exposure.
The best place to look for this is your competitor websites. While your competitors may pose a threat on your business, they can be a wonderful source of information. For one, they have already defined their target market. So all you have to do is tap this information by reverse engineering their website. How do you this? It’s simple. Just use some traffic tool like SimilarWeb, Ahrefs or SEMRush and you’ll be able to see the analytics of a particular website.
Another place where you can gather information about your target market is in social media websites. Let’s face it. Most of the people online are in social media websites. The best part is that you can target people in these websites to see which ones will convert the best in your ecommerce business.
4 – Look at Your Competition
More than looking at your competition for your target market, you should also aim to look deeper at your competition to see what they are doing. There is a reason why they have succeeded. They have done something that worked for them allowing them to make more sales.
For this, you’ll need tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush. I love that we have these tools nowadays and it allows us to look at the marketing methods that your competitors are already doing.
How can you know this? You look at their backlinks of course! This will show you all the websites linking to your competitors and how they are linking to them. In here, you’ll see if there is a blog that featured them or there is another website that included them in a list. You’ll be able to figure out their process for marketing their website.
NOTE: While backlink tools are effective in determining the marketing methods used by your competitors, there is a limit on what they can do. They don’t cover social shares. For that, you will need to use other tools that are designed for analyzing social shares. A good tool for this is BuzzSumo. It tracks all the social shares in a particular piece of content. So if you want to get a deeper analysis of the social shares of your competitors. You may want to use this tool.
5 – Learn and Evaluate Some Marketing Methods
Now that you have a clear picture of your current situation and you also know the state of your competitors, it is time to go into marketing. But before you go into the implementation, you should first explore some marketing methods. In this area, it is important to be creative. Doing the marketing method that another ecommerce website owner did will not yield you the same results. So be sure to choose a method that fits your business.
Some marketing methods that worked for me is referral marketing and influencer marketing. These are the two of my go-to methods in any niche. Then, I add other methods such as social media marketing, guest blogging, press release submissions and other forms of advertising depending on the niche. Some forms of advertising may not work in some niches so I make it a habit to go with referral and influencer marketing and just choose methods that will fit the niche.
Another type of marketing that has also stood the test of time is email marketing. But this is only effective if you have something worth sharing. Don’t just email your subscribers to announce new products and services. Make it interesting for them. Release some limited-edition items and